Oh I Need You

“Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

You know that feeling when you’re struck with a fresh revelation about something you’ve read a hundred times before? I love when that happens. It gets me so excited about this lifetime of learning from God’s Word.

This happened to me the other day while reading the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 5. It was such a simple truth, yet suddenly so profound.

The Christian life is impossible. No, really. IMPOSSIBLE. That is to say, without Jesus.

You’re probably thinking “duh” right now, but stay with me. If you’ve been a believer for any length of time and you live in the same world I do, you know it could be easy to get good at being “good” and to maybe even begin thinking that you’ve got a pretty decent handle on this Christianity thing. You’re certainly doing better than so-and-so. Yes, you have room for growth, but you’ve learned a lot and for the most part, you’re pretty content with your “walk”. It’s easy to get caught up in a society that is all about good works. It’s easy to start believing as the Jewish people did – that it is all about rules and good behavior. They were so used to going through the motions. So proud of all they knew about God. So content with their own standard of holiness.

So what is the first thing the Lord chose to teach those wanting to follow Him?

He revealed their NEED of Him. He showed them His standards and explained that He cared about more than just their behavior. He cared about their hearts, their thoughts, their attitudes. He came to fulfill the Law, and there was so much more to it than they had realized.

For example…perhaps they hadn’t killed anyone, but had they despised anyone in their heart? Had they thought hateful things or harbored unforgiveness? Maybe they hadn’t been unfaithful to their spouse, but had they ever desired someone’s body for their own selfish pleasure? Were they willing to sacrifice whatever it took to flee temptation? In cases of offense and insult, had they borne no resentment toward the offender, trusted God to defend their reputation, and shown love to those who oppressed them? Did they pray for the difficult people in their life, no matter how unlovable?

Ok, let’s stop right there. I don’t know about you, but I’m convicted! My thoughts and actions, my heart attitudes aren’t always pleasing to the Lord. There are times that I don’t meet these standards! I NEED Jesus.

And let’s go back to the Beatitudes. Jesus is talking about what true blessing looks like, and it’s all about things of eternal value. Oh how the world can distract us from these precious things! I am once again overwhelmed when I read of His standard for those who would follow Him.

Do I never struggle with self-sufficiency or spiritual pride?
Do I fear sharing in His suffering and mourning, in need of comfort?
Do I walk in humility before Him, submitting to His ways?
Do I desire to walk rightly in His sight more than anything else, and does my life reflect that?
Do I recognize how merciful the Father is and extend that same love and grace to others?
Am I pure in heart, always operating out of godly motives?
Do I reflect God’s character by seeking to live at peace?
And would I consider myself fortunate to be persecuted for living this very standard?

The point of my sharing is not to bring discouragement since we have certainly all fallen short, but to point to both our great NEED and our great Hope. It’s especially so relevant during this Christmas season when we read a story that for some of us has become more familiar than we would like.

Let’s remember how much we NEEDED Him. We deserve nothing – worse than nothing, we deserve death – yet He came to save us!

We still NEED Him. We can’t live to please Him apart from reliance on His Holy Spirit. We must be in His Word, seeking His face, allowing Him to transform us.

I encourage you to take time this season (and every season) to examine your heart. Read Matthew 5 with fresh eyes. Allow the Lord to show you your great need of Him, and then receive the grace He abundantly gives to not just be a “Christian”, but to be a Christ follower.

Thank you Lord, for not just revealing our NEED but meeting it! Thank you for offering us salvation. We were hopeless, but now you are our Hope! Thank you for being our righteousness. Thank you for not leaving us as we are!

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

“Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher

One thought on “Oh I Need You

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